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Mrs Julie Gerstman

Academic Development Advisor-Student Engagement


Julie was appointed in 2014 as the first former academic to take up the role of Academic advice to students  and academics (Academic Development Advisor) within the Faculty of Business and Law (FBL) at Swinburne. This initiative followed the FHAD model and has been replicated in FSET.
The position is under the leadership of PVC Student Engagement Professor Glen Bates.
The academic advice role has many facets and much potential. The main objectives are to increase the student retention rate within the Faculty and enhance the student experience whilst studying in the FBL. The key parts of the role are leading a weekly transition program each semester called 'Strategies for Success'. This is part of the Orientation program and is held two weeks before the semester begins. It is primarily to ensure new students are familiar with academic expectations of the Faculty they will study in, are aware of the writing, presenting and other assessment and weekly requirements of the course in which they are enrolled in. The program includes the many student supports available and opportunities to participate and meet students from their course. Students are encouraged to take a holistic approach to their studies, outside activities and personal health and well-being.
Students who have already faced challenges in their course are also strongly encouraged to attend the program.
This latter group are also encouraged to present with issues as they arise during the semester. A second part of the role is being available to advise students on any issues which impact their ability to study effectively, or choose their course structure, suggest strategies to adopt and refer them appropriately.
The availability of peer learning activities through mentors, daily peer assistance sessions and study groups have developed significantly in recent years.
Staff are encouraged to discuss issues of concern with an ADA. Early intervention is an effective way to reverse any set-backs students encounter before final academic results. Academics are able to work cooperatively with ADAs to achieve better results for their students.
There are now three ADAs in the FBL- Byron Coonerty and Meropy Barut have joined the team.

Fields of Research

  • Curriculum And Pedagogy - 130200
  • Other Economics - 149900


Also published as: Gerstman, Julie; Gerstman, J.
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